This week The Guardian received unauthorized access to police documents that provide a complete account of the charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Will these new facts finally put to rest the argument that "none of us know" the accusations?
Before Assange was released on bail on Thursday, someone leaked (oh, yes) police material held in Stockholm that details the complaints of "Miss A" and "Miss W" to The Guardian. The paper reports:
[Miss A's] account to police, which Assange disputes, stated that he began stroking her leg as they drank tea, before he pulled off her clothes and snapped a necklace that she was wearing. According to her statement she "tried to put on some articles of clothing as it was going too quickly and uncomfortably but Assange ripped them off again". Miss A told police that she didn't want to go any further "but that it was too late to stop Assange as she had gone along with it so far", and so she allowed him to undress her.
According to the statement, Miss A then realised he was trying to have unprotected sex with her. She told police that she had tried a number of times to reach for a condom but Assange had stopped her by holding her arms and pinning her legs. The statement records Miss A describing how Assange then released her arms and agreed to use a condom, but she told the police that at some stage Assange had "done something" with the condom that resulted in it becoming ripped, and ejaculated without withdrawing.
As for the second woman, Miss W,
The following day, Miss W phoned Assange and arranged to meet him late in the evening, according to her statement. The pair went back to her flat in Enkoping, near Stockholm. Miss W told police that though they started to have sex, Assange had not wanted to wear a condom, and she had moved away because she had not wanted unprotected sex. Assange had then lost interest, she said, and fallen asleep. However, during the night, they had both woken up and had sex at least once when "he agreed unwillingly to use a condom".
Early the next morning, Miss W told police, she had gone to buy breakfast before getting back into bed and falling asleep beside Assange. She had awoken to find him having sex with her, she said, but when she asked whether he was wearing a condom he said no. "According to her statement, she said: ‘You better not have HIV' and he answered: ‘Of course not,' " but "she couldn't be bothered to tell him one more time because she had been going on about the condom all night. She had never had unprotected sex before."
The Guardian has a longer account of Assange's alleged shady activities last August, including that a friend of Miss A's told police Miss A said she had "the worst sex ever" with Assange: "Not only had it been the world's worst screw, it had also been violent."
This should put an end to the argument that the accusations are "hooey", as Michael Moore says, but sadly it probably won't. We've known for some time that the initial reports that Assange simply had the misfortune of using a faulty condom were inaccurate, but "sex by surprise" is such a catchy name for a non-existent law! And of course, if people were to take these charges seriously, they'd have to acknowledge the man they consider a hero may be a criminal, and be willing to believe rape is rape, even when the details are messy.
10 Days In Sweden: The Full Allegations Against Julian Assange [The Guardian via Wired]